German performing rights organization GEMA has launched an emergency relief fund worth up to $43 million for its songwriter and composer members, according to Music Business Worldwide.
“It is already foreseeable that the economic consequences of the corona pandemic will be devastating for the entire creative industry,” said GEMA CEO Dr. Harald Heker. “GEMA will use all available means to support its existentially threatened members as best [we can] to cushion the economically catastrophic effects for our customers.”
The €40m aid fund will be provided by GEMA in a two-stage program: The first tranche of money, says GEMA, will be given to those composers and lyricists who also act as performers and therefore face financial difficulties due to the cancellation of live concerts.
A second run of payments will then provide financial support for “individual hardship cases” amongst the songwriting community.
“From the very beginning, GEMA was supported by the idea of solidarity and mutual protection and support,” says Dr. Ralf Weigand, Chairman of the GEMA Supervisory Board. “In this unprecedented crisis, these great principles are in demand and require immediate action.” Weigand promised that GEMA’s emergency aid program would “provide financial aid quickly and without red tape.”
In the U.S., MusiCares, the Recording Academy’s charitable foundation, established the COVID-19 Relief Fund last week to help people in the music industry affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and subsequent cancellation of thousands of music events.
According to the announcement, the fund, administered through MusiCares, will be used to directly support those in the music community with the greatest need. To establish the fund, both the Recording Academy and MusiCares have contributed an initial donation of $1 million each, totaling $2 million. Additionally, all Recording Academy Chapters have committed to fundraising in their local communities. Further updates and announcements will be made in the coming days.
Since it was founded in 1989, MusiCares has distributed more than $60 million to musicians and music people in need.
If you wish to support its efforts to assist music people in need, visit: https://www.grammy.com/MusiCares/CoronavirusReliefFund
If you are a member of the music industry in need of assistance, visit: musicares.org.
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